Milisya ng Bayan Surrenders; 2 Lumad leaders express support to Peace and Development efforts

Tago, Surigao del Sur – a Milisya ng Bayan (MB) of Sitio Poog, Brgy Maitum, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur voluntary surrendered without firearm to the Community Support Program (CSP) Team of the 36thInfantry (Valor) Battalion around 8 o’clock in the morning today, October 5, 2018.
 
The surrendered MB Is identified as alias DEMIT, married, a farmer, member of Manobo tribe, and a resident of So Poog, Brgy Maitum, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur. Alias Demit escorted by CSP members proceeded to 36IB Headquarters at Sitio Upper Mambago Brgy Dayo-an, Tago, Surigao del Sur for processing and interview to avail the E-CLIP, the governments’ intervention program for former rebels. According to @Demit, he decided to surrender due to his desire to go back to the folds of the law and help the government’s peace and development initiatives.   
 
Aside from the surrendered MB, two (2) Lumad Leaders both residents of same sitio were invited and voluntarily submitted themselves to the Community Support Program (CSP) Team of the 36IB immersed in Sitio Poog, Brgy Maitum, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur and proceeded at the Headquarters of 36IB, Sitio Upper Mambago Brgy Dayo-an, Tago, Surigao del Sur to help discuss issues and concerns to provide possible resolutions as leaders in their community.
 
Relatedly, KARAPATAN CARAGA released an FB Post alleging that the elements of 36IB illegally arrested said Lumad leaders.
 
In his statement, Lt Col Xerxes A Trinidad PA, Commanding Officer 36IB said, “The invitation made by our CSP team with Lumad Leaders is an informal meeting to discuss and find possible resolution to issues in the barangay being leaders of their community. Engagement to stakeholders is usually done in order to ensure that government programs are being delivered to the communities which are responsive to the actual needs of their constituents. They voluntarily submitted themselves to the CSP teams upon invitation and was not forced nor coerced. As to the surrender, we wanted that alias Demit could avail the E-CLIP in his transition to the mainstream society and help with the government’s initiatives.  We reiterate, the 36IB strictly adheres to the laws of the land and respects the human rights and International Humanitarian Law”.
 
Around 11:00 in the morning, said Lumad leaders upon completion of the process and discussions already went back home and were even given assistance for their transportation.
 
“KARAPATAN reacts every time the Lumad leaders whom they thought of as their controlled individuals may have shifted support and actively participate to the governments peace and development initiatives”, Captain Francisco P Garello Jr PA, 36IB Spokesperson, said.
 
“It is true that our CSP teams have repeatedly inviting said Lumad leaders and barangay officials to encourage them in supporting the peace and development efforts of the government. This only proves that troops respect their rights and do not force or arrest them as alleged. But this time, it is different, Lumad leaders in Brgy Maitum, a CPP-NPA affected barangay, turns to the AFP and are now willing to welcome and help the peace and development initiatives of the government”, Lt Col Trinidad added.
 

Last June 08, 2018, the LGU of Tandag City and the 36IB conducted Send Off Ceremony and Signing of MOU held in Tandag City Gymnasium as commitment and support to the Community Support Teams of the 36IB that will be immersed in the conflict affected barangays for the implementation of Community Support Programs of the government.